Saturday, April 11, 2009

Taste Washington

Hello again! I’m back in the office, rested and rejuvenated after a quick trip over to Seattle for Taste Washington. Mine was much shorter than everyone else from Woodward Canyon but I enjoyed myself immensely. It was really nice to get away from Walla Walla for however short it was. Rick and Darcey left Thursday so they could attend the Washington Wine Restaurant Awards & Tasting Friday night and Rick could attend and lead some of the seminars on Saturday. Thomas flew in Saturday morning after making stops in San Francisco and Chicago. And then first thing Monday morning he was off again, this time to New York. WOW! What a rough life he must lead. I’ve always wondered what life would be like, always on the road. I ended up catching a plane at the Walla Walla Airport at 6:50 in the morning. Let me tell you something, a 4:30 wake up call so you can make a 6:50 flight is not something I enjoy doing. Maybe I don’t envy Thomas’s job as much as I thought, after all.

Seattle was gorgeous! It was bright and sunny and unlike most of the rainy days I've spent there. It was almost difficult being indoors all afternoon. Almost, but not quite, I enjoyed myself at Taste way to much to think about it. There were more people than I could count but it was fun meeting everyone and talking about the wines. And with over 200 wineries and 60 restaurants, there was no way to get around to all of them. I made a point to taste a couple different cabs which were composed entirely of Champoux Vineyard fruit. I thought it would be interesting to see how they compared and were different from our “Old Vines” Cabernet. I love how each wine was similar in some ways but also very different in others. I guess that is what makes wine so fascinating.

Both of our labels, Nelms Road and Woodward Canyon, were included at Taste. We poured the ’07 Nelms Cabernet and ’07 Nelms Merlot and then the ’07 Washington State Chardonnay and the ’06 “Artist Series” Cabernet for Woodward Canyon. The wines were showing really well and people seemed to enjoy them. We, of course, poured out of the “Artist Series” and came close to pouring out of everything else. It was a great event with great response from the consumers.

The Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance hosted a special “Get a Taste” of Vintage Walla Walla during a 4 hour block once the Grand Tasting started. It was an appointment-only session on some of the older wines in the valley. Rick joined six other winemakers from Walla Walla, and poured our 1998 “Artist Series” Cabernet, to help showcase what Vintage Weekend is all about. I didn’t get to taste any of the wines there but we had opened a bottle of the ’98 a couple of weeks ago and the winery and it was still pouring beautifully. Lots of tobacco and earthy nuances with some black fruit on the palate, this wine still had some cellar life on it.

We poured through just about everything and headed off to Seastar in Seattle for dinner that night. If you haven’t been to this restaurant before you should definitely visit on your next trip. We had an amazing dinner. We started off the night with a couple bottles of champagne paired with fresh oysters shooters right out of the sea. Then we moved on to our white for the evening with fresh seared ahi, calamari poppers and crab cakes. Then it was a pinot noir from Burgundy which I paired with my halibut provencal and spring style asparagus. We finished off the evening with crème brulee, white chocolate coconut cream pie and passion fruit panna cotta with tropical fruit. All the desserts were amazing, though I’m gonna have to admit that the crème brulee was my favorite. Once again, I’m so glad that everyone at Woodward Canyon is as much of a foodie as I am. I am so lucky to be working at a place where us employee are treated so well and we are constantly surrounded by great food and amazing wines!

If you're in Walla Walla today come see Marlene at the Woodward Canyon table at Feast Walla Walla between one and four. We'll be pouring our '05 White Riesling, our '07 Estate Barbera and our '07 Walla Walla Valley Cabernet. If you can’t make it to Feast, swing by the tasting room and we’ll share some wines with you out here!

For those of you who will be in town the first weekend of May come visit us for Spring Release Weekend, May 1st through the 3rd. We will be pouring some of our favorites. And we might even have a trick or two up our sleeves. Hope to see you all through the tasting room at some point during the spring / summer!


Shari / Woodward Canyon Winery

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